‘Troll King’ – a short story

“I can see it’s VR, but what makes it unique? It’s all been done a jillion times.”

Snorfglorp looked at the game store attendant behind the counter. It was a blo-Bhumb. Notoriously rude – and flatulent.

“Arcade survival,” he wheezed, its bulging eye fixed on Snorfglorp’s last remaining credit. On the game’s cabinet was an image of a giant mushroom cloud towering over a pile of dead bodies and the words Troll King in faded lettering.

“Looks old.”

“Retro,” the attendant blustered.

“If you say so, blobby. So, how do you win?”

The blo-Bhumb turned red as it expanded with rage. Rolls of flesh flowed across the counter, knocking over a Zylotthe. A toy figurine got sucked into the blob, dissolving from sight.

“Troll the humans!” the blo-Bhumb shrieked.

There was a POP and a sound of gas escaping as the clerk returned to its original size.

Snorfglorp’s olfactory bulbs shrivelled. “Fine, just take it!” he said, tossing the credit towards the lump of jelly.

A tongue shot out of an orifice, snatching the coin. The blo-Bhumb rocked about excitedly as the game’s display fizzed into life.

“The headset,” he bellowed, bouncing up and down.

“For Snurf’s sake, I got it!” Snorfglorp said, slipping into the headset’s receptors. The visuals crackled, and something pinged as a taut rod of energy shot through his brain.

“The soundtrack is whack…” Snorfglorp tried to say, but his voice was warping as his consciousness stretched.

He was in the game.

A desk in a white room. A pot of pencils. A flag on the wall. Snorfglorp moved his tentacles. Through the headset appeared two paddles of white flesh, each divided into five smaller, hinged flanges. A door opened and a human being wearing a suit and sunglasses marched towards him. A file slammed onto the table.

“Mr. President, we have to reduce Earth’s population size; the environmentalists won’t wait another term. Situation is critical.” The man pressed a small coil in his ear and nodded. “Tactical department has confirmed: troll the humans.

“Groovy,” Snorfglorp said in a fat, human voice. He rummaged around the desk and pulled a drawer open.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a gun, sir. You’ve completed your training?”

He picked up the object with his pudgy hand and aimed it at the sunglasses.

He pulled the trigger.

A deafening CRACK filled the air as the man disappeared in a puff of red mist.

“Whoa!” Snorfglorp shouted, standing away from his chair. He quivered with excitement as he looked around the room. He aimed the gun at the window and – CRACK – the glass smashed into a million pieces. A gust of wind stormed the room.

“Immersive…” he said, making towards the door. Suddenly, a siren blared and more suited men with sunglasses appeared, forming a circle around him.

“Drop the weapon, Mr. President! Don’t make me put you down,” said a firm voice.

Snorfglorp giggled and pointed the gun.

CRACK!

A thick streak of blood decorated the red and white flag. Within a second the other guns in the room lit up.

Snorfglorp’s mind shrank and twisted in a flash of lightning, his body felt limp. He separated himself from the headset and looked at the blo-Bhumb.

“How’d I do?”

“Terrible!” it belched gleefully. A stench filled the air. “Must do better…”

Snorfglorp turned back to the blinking screen. HUMANS TROLLED – 000000002. The top score was nearly a billion. “Two turns remaining,” the blo-Bhumb wheezed. Snorfglorp nodded and returned to the game.

The suit slammed the file onto the desk once again. “Troll the humans,” he insisted.

Snorfglorp opened the drawer and pushed the gun to the side, lifting out a folder entitled LAUNCH CODES.

“Are you sure, sir?” said the suit.

How the Klotz do I know? thought Snorfglorp.

“Yep, do it,” the President shrugged.

The suit hesitated. A bead of sweat dripped from the rim of his sunglasses, then he was handed a console with a large red button in its centre.

Snorfglorp pressed the big red button.

Nothing happened. No blaring siren. The suit trembled.

“Well?”

On the desk, a box with a blue light began to flash and the suit lifted the receiver with a quivering hand.

“My God… No… The whole country… wiped away? A retaliation. When?”

Snorfglorp stared blankly.

The suit slammed the receiver down and jumped across the desk.

“Get down, Mr President!”

Snorfglorp collapsed under the human and tumbled onto the floor, rocking about like an upturned Jizzbock. He gazed out the window. The sky was darkening as a thousand black bombs descended on the room.

“It was a pleasure, sir,” said the suit, his lip wobbling.

“What the Snuff is going on?” Snorfglorp shouted.

The white room exploded into a trillion pieces as flame tore through the visuals.

“Oh, for the love for Flarb,” Snorfglorp huffed as he was brought back into the stinking game store. He looked at the score – only fifty million.

“Last try,” the blo-Bhumb jeered.

“This game’s a gyp!” Snorfglorp grumbled, fighting back a column of snuzz. He was determined not to let his last turn on the game be wasted, nor let the blo-Bhumb succeed. He had to be smart. He zapped back into the game.

The sunglasses were staring down at Snorfglorp for the final time.

“Well, sir?”

He thought.

“What will happen if we give every human one of these?” he lifted the gun out of the drawer.

“Most of them already have one, sir.”

“And what do humans… we love more than anything?”

“Freedom, sir.” The suit puffed his chest out.

“Oh, for Flarb’s sake. Anything else?

“My wife’s cooking,” he hesitated.

Snorfglorp nodded thoughtfully.

“We should convince the owners of all the world’s guns that their wives were threatening to withhold their cooking. Would that do it?”

“Only one way to find out, Mr President.” The suit saluted him and marched out of the room.

Snorfglorp leaned back in his chair. He was starting to get the hang of being Troll King.


Fancy writing your own 1,000 word story? The rules are: there are no rules!

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